May 13, 2024

Ceremony Marks Beginning of Historic Center in Bangladesh

Future facilities are expected to house a dental college and expand the existing school.

Northern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review
Adventist Church leaders participate in a ribbon-cutting moment to mark the ground-breaking for the future Urban Center of Influence in Bangladesh. [Photo: Northern Asia-Pacific Division News]

On April 28, Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders, members, and supporters of the future Bangladesh Urban Center of Influence (UCI) met for the building’s ground-breaking ceremony on the Bangladesh Union Mission campus. More than 130 people attended the event, including officers from the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), Bangladesh Union Mission (BAUM) and conference staff, school representatives, lay association executives, and local church members.

The ceremony began with an opening prayer by NSD associate secretary Hyung Jin Lee and was presided over by BAUM secretary Timothy Roy. BAUM president Won Sang Kim gave special remarks highlighting the critical priority of the UCI building.

NSD president Yo Han Kim also acknowledged the importance of this UCI building. “It’s not our plan, but God’s plan. God works miraculously and has given us more than we prayed for,” Kim said. He also urged all church leaders to create a significant legacy through local contributions. Following these speeches, the ribbon-cutting ceremony and ground-breaking commenced, marking the start of construction for the UCI.

The UCI building project plans to construct a 12-story, square-C-shaped building on the existing union campus, which will house a dental college and expand the existing Dhaka Adventist Pre-Seminary and School. This initiative aims to accommodate more than 4,000 students and plans to utilize the outreach areas as commercial spaces, among other changes. The center will provide the financial capacity to establish new international schools in major cities annually. Graduating 20 Adventist dentists annually could foster healthy church growth from the grassroots by enhancing local church tithing, local leaders said.

Focus on Education

The UCI building initiative highlights educational missionary work, which is extremely important and actively pursued in Bangladesh, regional leaders said. Currently, there are 147 schools in Bangladesh, home to approximately 30,000 students. Among these, 35 percent are adherents of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, with the remainder being Muslim and from other Christian faiths.

One college in Bangladesh has departments in theology, business administration, English literature, education, and nursing. However, all departments except nursing have not yet received official accreditation from the government. President Yun Gown Park and the staff are working to achieve this accreditation.

Additionally, BAUM has seven boarding schools. Students from these schools graduate to serve as workers, ministers, and leaders in various churches across Bangladesh.

“I am confident that as they grow, [students] will become significant pillars of Bangladesh,” Kim said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Northern Asia-Pacific Division news site.